tv The Cycle MSNBC June 24, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
and i'm luke russert in for krystal this week. we're going behind the scenes of president obama's re-election campaign like you've never seen it before. >> nice one. plus, why it's worth paying attention to kanye's new album, and it's always worth paying attention to "the cycle." we begin with the trial of george zimmerman now underway. opening arguments began this morning. defense attorney don west just wrapped up. earlier the defense chose what some might consider an unconventional way to start the trial. >> knock, knock. who's there? george zimmerman. george zimmerman who? all right, good. you're on the jury.
nothing? that's funny. after what you folks have been through the last two or three weeks. >> okay? >> that's not real. >> he did note that after the joke the defense would be getting down to the serious matter at hand. the prosecution used zimmerman's own words to make its case. >> [ bleep ] punks. these [ bleep ], they always get away. those were the words in that grown man's mouth as he followed in the dark a 17-year-old boy who he didn't know. ladies and gentlemen, the truth about the murder of trayvon martin is going to come directly from his mouth. >> of course, ultimately the fate of george zimmerman will be up to a six-person jury made up of women. let's kick things off with nbc's craig melvin outside the courthouse in sanford, florida.
run down day one and that joke we heard. >> reporter: you know what? that knock-knock joke really did go over like a fart in church. so much so that right after the lunch break, don west apparently knew how bad it went over. he apologized right out of the gate right after lunch. but it really has been, as i described it earlier, it really has been a tale of two very different openings. the state, they went for about 30, 35 minutes. the defense went for 10, 15 minutes shy of three hours. right now, as i talk to you, we are -- court just reconvened. we are awaiting the first witness by the state. there was a hearing just before this. during the course of that hearing, judge nelson decided that benjamin crump, the martin family attorney, would not be allowed to remain in court while trayvon martin's family was there. the judge also ruled that george zimmerman's family would also not be allowed to remain in
court. george zimmerman's wife and his parents not allowed in court. there were some seven objections, at least seven, maybe eight, but at least seven objections were made, all of them made by the state. the judge, judge nelson, sustained all of those objections. the objections seemed to revolve around what the defense was trying to do with their opening argument. the judge on several occasions reprimanded the attorney, reprimanded don west, saying that he was basically trying to use the opening to comment on evidence instead of basically talking about what the evidence would show. so that's pretty much the latest. just to give you an idea of some of the color from inside the courtroom, george zimmerman this morning stoic for the most part, emotionless. there was not an occasion where he smiled or not an occasion where he laughed or frowned or grimaced. we were also keeping a close eye on the jurors. there were a number of jurors
that -- a number of jurors decided to take notes at one point. right now as i talk to you, and i don't know if we can show you a live look inside the courtroom, the state, we're told, is calling its first witness. that first witness is going to be chad joseph. chad joseph is being called to the stand right now. chad joseph, for those of you -- he's being sworn in right now. some of you may recall -- in fact, i believe his mother was interviewed at one point. he was one of the folks who -- can we listen in for a second in is that possible? >> say yes, sir. >> yes. >> you may proceed. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, sir. if you'd please tell the members of the jury your name.
>> chad joseph. >> mr. joseph, how old are you? >> 15. >> are you in school? >> yes. >> what grade were you in this past school year? >> eighth. >> in february of last year, 2012, did you live here in sanfo sanford? >> yes. >> what neighborhood did you live in? >> retreat at twin lakes. >> what was your street address? >> 2631. >> who did you live with in february 2012? >> my mom. >> and what is your mother's name? >> is brandy green. >> did anyone else live with you and your mother back in february of 2012? >> no. >> were you in school -- >> reporter: okay. this is chad joseph. this is the 15-year-old son of tracy martin's girlfriend. he was the 15-year-old who was staying at the house where trayvon martin was also staying when trayvon martin went to the 7-eleven. this was the young man who was at home. this is the first witness being called by the state.
i'll send it back to you. >> thank, craig. let's bring in former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney and msnbc legal analyst. george zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, which means nonpremeditated, but it also means evincing a depraved mind, showing no regard for human life. is this an example of prosecutorial overcharging? >> absolutely. this is what prosecutors across the country not only do but they're instructed to do because why not set the bar high? if the evidence presented supports a lesser charge, then the jury gets to consider both murder in the second degree and in this case the jury will get to consider manslaughter as well. >> lisa, some linguistic scuffling before the trial began. the state can say that george zimmerman profiled trayvon martin, but not that he racially profiled. the defense also sought to ban the words vigilante, want-to-be
cop. those phrases and words will be allowed. this goes to the idea of framing. framing is everything here and also in the political system. so how is this going to change what's going forward? >> well, that was for opening statements. we saw the opening statements. if we're just going to judge on style, i think the prosecution clearly won that battle. of course, this is more about substance. the prosecution had a relatively short opening statement, about a half an hour long. the defense was over 2 1/2 hours long. each of them went through the evidence. the defense much more so methodically, bit by bit. both of them really focusing on the forensic evidence, which they say supports their view of the case. >> lisa, real quick, are knock-knock jokes common in opening statements of murder trials? >> no, they're not. but i will tell you that there are sometimes moments of levity, even in very serious, heavy cases involving tragedies it like this one. i get what the defense was trying to do. he was trying to undercut the passion on the prosecution's side.
clearly, that one did not go over. >> on a serious note, the 911 tape, they're allowing it but without context. is that essentially the judge's way of saying draw your own conclusions about what you hear here? >> right. so the 911 tape is going to come in as is george zimmerman's calls to the nonemergency police number. the experts that the prosecution wanted to bring in to testify about who was screaming, they can't testify. but the jury can hear for themselves. the jury can also hear, for example, from trayvon martin's mother, who has already told law enforcement that's trayvon martin screaming on that call. >> seema, to you, as a former prosecutor, what do you think the prosecutor in this case, john guy, was doing by reading all the expletives in his opening statement to a jury of six women, some of who we saw from the reports from that courtroom were actually taken aback by such rough language? what's he trying to do right there? is that a smart play? >> i think it was a gutsy play. i think mr. guy was trying to
establish a connection, which is very hard for a prosecutor. you can imagine that prosecutors, you know, they're going by the evidence. they're trying to establish the case. they try to do it sometimes in too formal of a way. what mr. guy was doing was trying to elicit passion from the jury by showing his passion for the victim. i think he did a splendid job of that. >> seema, in a case like this where it's not really a whodunit, how parent are the opening statements? >> for both sides, they're equally important. the prosecution has to give an opening statement. they have to preview the case. the defense, it was crucial to set up their theory of the case, which is self-defense. >> all right. seema and lisa, thanks for your time. up next, where in the world is edward snowden? with the spark cash card
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what we know is that we're following all the appropriate legal channels and working with various ore countther countries sure rule of law is observed. beyond that, i'll refer to the justice department that's been actively involved in the case. >> that was president obama last hour talking about nsa leaker edward snowden during a moeetin with top business leaders about immigration reform. snowden has not been spotted since he landed in moscow sunday afternoon on a flight from hong kong. his trip to russia has infuriated lawmakers and the secretary of state. >> it would be deeply troubling, obviously, if they have adequate notice and notwithstanding they make a decision willfully to ignore that and not live by the
standards of the law. >> there's a lot of speculation about snowden's itinerary. that being said, he's increasingly out of the u.s. government's reach. a whitehouse.gov petition to pardon him now tops 110,000 signatures. let's bring in nbc's annabell roberts. what are you hearing? >> well, as you say, it's not really been a good day at all for u.s. foreign policy with two key relationships damaged by the incidents of today. as you said, that plane that everyone thought he was going on on that went from moscow to havana in cuba, well, apparently he wasn't there. an nbc producer is on that flight along with about 30 other journalists. we saw pictures of the seat where edward snowden was meant to be sitting. i think it's not beyond the realms of possibility that he is, in fact, hiding on that plane. he could have been smuggled in before all the other passengers were allowed to board. our producer said there was a lot of security.
they were blocked from filming the plane when they first got to the boarding gate. really, the real question is, where is he? the white house thinks he's in russia. that seems very clear. of course, if he is being held by the russian authorities on russian soil, that is very damaging to the u.s.-russian relationship. >> annabel roberts, thank you. all right, guys. let's spin on this. this puts into sharp perspective the mantra i've been using throughout this story. hate the leaker, love the leak. as we're learning more about edward snowden, he's becoming more and more ignoble, duplicitous, cowardly, less likable, if he ever were. i remember when i'd first heard he'd fled to hong kong. i thought, okay, well, at least he didn't choose one of our explicit enemies. now as it's clear, he's looking to work with russia and cuba, maybe venezuela.
i think it's likely he may be trading intene ining intelligen of these countries in exchange for safe harbor, which makes him completely ir redeemable to me. on the leak itself, which is more important than any psi come jazzing we do, it's about proving that second part of the mantra. love the leak. while most people think that snowden should be prosecuted, so hate the leaker, they also think news of this nsa surveillance program and those revelations about the government looking into our private information is a violation. so i think both ends of that spectrum are being covered here, and i think it's been a rude awakening for folks who have failed to come to realize that. nancy pelosi was actually at net roots nation this weekend, and she was jeered by liberals when she went into a defense of the nsa program. i think those are the two ends of the spectrum. >> yeah, i think we have to keep in split screen what he unearthed or what he seemed to
have unearthed, what he sort of let america know is going on and how we feel about that, and then who he is and this global circus he's in the middle of now, partly degrading the quality of our relationships with china and russia. so thanks fvery much for that. found something interesting from "the south china morning post," an interview he did with them where he says, my position with booz allen hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the nsa hacked. he went to booz allen in order to find information about the nsa and to damage them or at least let the world know what they were doing. this strikes me as far more traitorous than we originally were told. he originally presented himself as he discovered this was going on and had to let the world know. now it's like, no, i went in there as a self-styled mole. i'm not appreciating that behavior at all. >> i think we have to be careful
with words like traitor and treason. those words have legal meaning, first and foremost, although people can also ascribe to them their own personal and political meaning. when we look at people who are breaking the laws. so i do understand the public anger towards this individual. what concerns me, as we've talked about before, is if the government is basically going along and doing selective prosecution, if the government has one rule for leaks that they like and one rule for leaks they don't like. this president, president obama, i think, is a better national security president than the last one. i don't think george w. bush can stand in the same room that is one when you talk about running foreign affairs. the fact i think that and agree with him doesn't change at all, my view, that he is conducting a type of selective prosecution, an overzealous prosecution of certain individuals. the fact he has the word president before his name dunl change that analysis and shouldn't. we had daniel ellsburg on the
program. he's a source. edward snowden is a source for media outlets to do these publications. mark felt was a source who ultimately brought down president nixon, deep throat, and the reason he did it was not a great reason. it was not internally consistent. it had to do with the fact he felt passed over for jobs. the nixon administration said he, like mr. ellsberg, were bad for national security. we have got to use a better standard than what the government says to us about the leakers it doesn't like while it lets all sorts of other leaks go on. i think that selectivity is a real problem. the idea that we should focus only on mr. snowden and his personality, i think, risks us missing the larger issue. >> what jumps out to me about this particularly is the fact that he's a guy like snowden that has -- has damaged our relationships with russia, china. we do not know to what degree. he's made the u.s. seem very hypocritical. when the president meets with the president of china and says,
hey, stop hacking into our stuff and then it's disclosed we do hack into them to an alarming degree. what i also find interesting here, though, is this sort of emergence of ecuador. here's this country where he has been -- he's asked asylum to go to. it's a country that's had peace corps volunteers in it since 1962. it gets over $26 million in aid from the u.s. every year. but this president of ecuador has now sort of filled the vacuum that hugo chavez left when he died and is saying, come on in, not explicitly, but giving these hints to come on n edward snowden. they gave assange snowden in their british embassy in london. it's fascinating to me they've come in this. lastly, russia, china, ecuador, cuba. what do all these countries have in common where snowden is hanging out? they repress the media. it's fascinating that we have all these questions about leakers and sources and this guy snowden, who started that
conversation, he's finding safe havens in these countries that explicitly try and taper down their media. >> also, countries that hate america. >> there's a process for this. you leak, you whistle blow, you go to jail. he seems to want to completely exempt himself from that second part of the process. so where in the world is edward snowden? not really sure. we'll have to check in. we'll let you know after the break.
the nat senate is holding a vote tonight on the immigration bill. president obama is meeting with ceos and business leaders today and touting the economic benefits of that new legislation. meanwhile, an iconic american treat is set for a sweet comeback. hostess announced today that twinkies and other snack cakes should be back on the store shelves by the middle of next month. you can breathe easy. now, you probably already heard, the supreme court is sending affirmative action back to a lower court. immediately, that means nothing changes. in the long term, the decision could make it harder for public universities to use diversity as a factor in their admissions process. it was a 7-1 ruling with justice kagan recused and justice ginsburg issuing dissent. we have a packed house with nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and tom goldstein. let me ask you, tom.
a 7-1 ruling. why are we seeing that kind of coalition? >> it's really a surprise, i have to say. it looks like the conservatives and lib rerals on the supreme court decided they could come together without sending a divided message. one that feels like they could feel like they've taken a step forward and the court's left kind of breathing a big sigh of relief that it didn't happen yet. both of them willing to allow facts to be developed in the lower court and evaluated on when it is that you truly need programs like this to achieve educational diversity. >> pete, in justice kennedy's po opinion, he doesn't reject affirmative action at all. >> justice kennedy, no, he does not. what the court says is we haven't changed anything in terms of affirmative action. the lower court just got it wrong when it was way too permissive, way too deferential to the university of texas on whether it met the high standard for a government agency in this
case, a public university, to show that it was okay to use race as a factor in admissions. but in fact, by emphasizing that a school has to show there's no reasonable, workable, race-neutral alternative, the court really is changing the law a little. it's setting the bar -- it's setting a higher standard for colleges to meet when they get sued over their affirmative action programs. it's very possible that some schools won't be able to meet the standard. >> right, pete. sometimes it seems like strict scrutiny gets stricter and stricter. we know you'll be back with us tomorrow. thanks again. >> you bet. >> all right. next up, we want to bring in linda greenhouse, from yale law school. she covered the supreme court for 30 years for "the new york times." it's an honor to have you here. >> it's my pleasure. >> let's talk more about what line justice kennedy was walking in this opinion. as we just said, on the one hand, he's got some of the less conservative members of the court with him sending this back down, setting this high bar for
affirmative action. on the other hand, he seems to cite some of the arguments we've heard from conservatives, both on the supreme court and definitely in the conservative bar, that say any racial classification really is suspect and should probably go away as the country evolves. do you think he's edging closer to that criticism and could that come up in the voting rights cases as well? >> oh, well, the voting rights cases, yes, could be a complete disaster from the civil rights point of view. to take a step back on affirmative action, the court has labored on this case for eight months and brought forth a mouse. i don't think the law has changed at all. that's really the takeaway from this. strict scrutiny has two parts to it. the government entity that's being sued has to show they had a compelling state interest for taking race into account. and that the program by which they've done that is the most narrowly tailored possible to achieve that interest. i mean, that's the law.
that was the law yesterday. that's still the law today. the court has been skeptical of affirmative action. they upheld it narrowly in 2003. they set a high bar. now, in the michigan case in 0 220 2003, there had been a trial. the facts were established. here in texas, it came up on some rejudgment. there's no trial. the court of appeals of the circuit thought it was applying settling supreme court law. i think it was. it's now up to the circuit to reiterate that, if it chooses to do so. who knows. maybe the case is moot. abigail fisher, the young woman who was recruited to bring this lawsuit has long since graduated from a different college. she has no continuing interest in this matter. it's not a class action. she's the only plaintiff. so the fifth circuit, if i understand federal court procedure, is free to say, thanks for the good advice and this case is finished. >> it seems to me justice kennedy along with all the other justices except for ginsburg and
recused kagan were basically arguing that the fifth circuit was wrong to accept the assertion by the school that its admissions process uses race in a permissible way. kennedy wrote, in fact, that the court needed to give a closer analysis to how the practice works in process. that said, there is a mountain of evidence suggesting affirmative action in the admissions progress actually disadvantages the minority applica applicant. so is kennedy suggesting that's the kind of evidence the fifth circuit needs to assess at a greater amount? >> i actually think all he's suggesting is that we got into this case improminently and need a face-saving way out. so we've got to string a bunch of words together that looks like we're making law. i actually strongly think they aren't. i think this really counts as a very substantial liberal win at
the supreme court because the conservatives reached out for this case, and they couldn't deliver. >> professor greenhouse, i'm a politics guy. why don't i bring this back to the politics. the supreme court did say they would revisit this issue and look at the legality of ballot initiatives, specifically about affirmative action, whether those could move forward. from the ruling they had today, how do you read the possible following ruling on a ballot initiative moving forward? is that something that a lot of states you could definitely see on the ballot, they would allow in 2014, 2016? >> right, that's the case coming up for michigan next fall. that's a tough case. obviously, the votes to grant that case came from the same side of the court that voted to grant the texas case. so they've got it in their sights. it raises a different question. it goes to sort of the validity of the political process. the same kind of issue really that the court dealt with back in the 1990s in the case from
colorado that was the first inkling of recognizing gay rights at the supreme court when they invalidated a proposition that had said you can't have any protective legislation for gay rights in the state of colorado. the court said that was unconstitutional. it's a very fascinating issue. i'm not sure that what happened today really informs anything about it, although one thing that was really interesting about this michigan case, the court granted it, agreed to decide it couple months ago while the texas case was still pending. they said they must have known two months ago the conservative justices on the court that the texas case was not going to deliver the message that they wanted to deliver and they were going to need some more ammunition, another vehicle, another go at it next term. >> that's an interesting point. i know in the colorado example, the court ultimately found those
ballot initiatives were sort of anti-gay, and that wasn't an acceptable way to legislate. wheth linda, thanks for spending time with us and explaining this mouse-like ruling. next up, the roller coaster ride continues on to wall street. my name is mike and i quit smoking. chantix... it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. [ male announcer ] along with support,
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where queen mattresses start at just $699. sleep number. comfort individualized. breaking news on wall street. the selloff continues. the dow is down once again this afternoon after the chinese markets clocked their worst day in four years. there are still jitters here about the fed easing off its easy money policy. the losses are across the board. the markets are recovered from what were triple-digit drops. dan, what is going on? >> i think people are -- you know, they were getting too excited about the prospect of
twinkies' return. when they heard it wasn't coming back until july, people got very upset. i'm hoping you'll get some here at the green room. the offerings are not what they have been in the past. >> what's really going on? >> i have to jump in. i take my twinkie coverage serious. we've been accused of twinkie bias. >> dan, what's really going on? >> we like to blame china for a lot of our economic problems, even when they're not responsible. the selloff we're seeing today and this week can be pinned on china to a degree. last week it was all about the federal reserve saying, you know, we're going to cut back on our buying of bonds and everybody freaked out, pushed interest rates up, sold stocks, figured that growth wouldn't be as good. over the weekend, concern now is about china, which has apparently this huge credit bubble. they've been doing the last several years what we did from 2001 to 2007, which is to pump up growth through easy credit, through these banks and financial institutions that aren't regulated.
now they're having some problems. in the past, the chinese government has always bailed out the state-owned banks. now they're sending the signal, there's a new guy in charge and saying, you know, we want to reform the system and one way to reform the system is to kind of let some of these financial institutions die and dry up. that is causing a certain amount of panic. >> dan, i want to talk about the invigorating thing that is quantitative easing and bring this back to the fed a little bit. "usa today" had a funny way to have putting this together saying, quote, and over the past 4 1/2 years, qe has proliferated wildly on wall street trading desks, passed along from trade to trade like a marijuana cigarette at woodstock in 1969. qe has also infiltrated wall street's financial spreadsheets as well as its super smart computer programs or algorithms that automatically execute all those lightning quick trades. in short, most trades, risk taking, and the way investors have positioned their portfolios in recent years has been driven with qe in mind. aside from how the economy will
do because of the lack of qe, are we even in position, do investors have the tools within those programs to actually live in a world without qe? i think that's something that most investors don't understand. perhaps their brokerage firms don't have the computer programs to deal with this newfound phenomenon. >> i would take issue with that metaphor. strictly from what i'm told, marijuana makes people more mellow. again, what i'm told. qe, by contrast, has made people sort of hopped up because it's put all this easy money in there and let people take a lot of risks. the issue -- part of it is, yes, having to adjust your portfolios to account for this change. part of it is this mismatch between the way the government communicates. the obama administration is very good with social media. when you look at the supreme court, the federal reserve, they're still back in the '80s. we'll put out this information when we want to. maybe we'll have a press
conference. not understanding that the world at large processes this information very quickly. almost instantaneously and almost on auto pilot with all these high-frequency traders. what bernanke was trying to do last week was telegraph that at some point in the future, it's note that we're going to stop bying bonds, we're going to buy less of them. they probably thought, okay, the market will adjust to this over a period of two or three months. the market adjusted in a period of about two hours. i think there's this huge disconnect between the way they communicate and the way the world at large processes that information. that's part of what accounts for this volatility. >> right. i mean, maybe the drug metaphor is never get high on your own supply. >> sugar high. >> never sell no crack where you rest at. >> okay. keep it moving. >> the question here is, do you have the fed basically getting everyone all excited as you say and they're unable to unwind it? the question is, can they really taper perceptions if the market is this jittery? or is tapering a myth because we're seeing that as soon as you
say anything, you get a strong reaction? >> again, this is the concern. bernanke was always supremely confident that, you know, the fed gets into situations, it's all powerful and doing that because it can create money, after all. so therefore, it will be relatively easy for it to get out. i think what we're seeing, it's going to be something of a bumpy ride. the fed can go in and intervene in markets and create as much money as it wants, literally overnight, without much blow back. what we're seeing is here, it's not just that the fed has $3 trillion plus it has to unwind, and it's not even saying we're going to sell bonds, we're going to raise interest rates. it's saying at some point, maybe toward the end of the year, instead of buying $85 billion a month, we'll by 75 or 65. that inspired this really fevered reaction. >> well, dan, i came across a short and sweet letter to the editor of "the new york times." the market's behavior in the wake of bernanke's news means it's overly dependent on handouts from the federal
government. a free market should rejoice in a strengthening economy and the reduction of artificial government support. instead, it laments, disappoints, and punishes those who still expect at least one bastion of free-market independence in this country. so is the stock market still a free market? >> i think it is very heavily dependent on what the federal reserve does. one of the interesting things is that many of the people who were saying, you know, what bernanke is doing is terrible, it's bad for the economy, it's bad for the markets, these are the people who are now yelling the loudest about, hey, don't do this, you're psychiatscrewing u markets. the marks have doubled in defiance of virtually all projections in the past four years with the fed putting all this money in. so again, i think there's going to be some sort of cognitive dissonance. the people who didn't like what the fed was doing up until now while there are all these gains are now in the position of saying, wait, don't get out of this so fast. don't unwind it because it'll hurt the markets. >> dan gross, a man who clearly never inhaled.
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anything but that. the strategy to keep obama in the white house was born out of the democrats' crushing defeat in 2010. they knew they'd have to run a new-age, data-driven campaign. on top of that, there was a meltdown at a debate, endless poll numbers, and of course a hurricane that redefined the last few weeks of the campaign. the ups and downs of this last big election are documented in the new book "the center holds: obama and his enemies." in the guest spot today is the author, jonathan alter. thank you for coming on the program. we appreciate it. >> hello. >> you get very deep into the cave, which is these young kids, many of them 30 and under, that come up with these new algorithms to try to process all this different data about what type of voters can get to the polls, where money should be spent in terms of political advertising. they come up with this idea through top-box data on cable tvs and the whole nine yards
that we should take precious advertising dollars and go to shows like "judge joe brown" and "the insider," which is a huge gamble if you're coming from the typical political strategist sphere. what did the president feel what his closest adviser said, you know what, we're not going to double down on the "nbc nightly news." we're going to go to the "insider" and "judge joe brown." >> i was wondering that during the campaign. i said, if this doesn't work, you don't have any time to fix it. they understood partly because the geeks in the cave had been right in 2010 in predicting the magnitude of the defeat. they understood that these guys knew what they were doing. they hired a whole bunch of them. they had a couple hundred of them by the end who were experts in various parts of this. the judge, you know, joe brown thing, that was a tiny, tiny portion of this 21st century
digital campaign where many of the things they were did were much cooler than that in terms of microtargeting. everyone knows there was this, what i call a geek gap, between romney and obama. i try to show how and translate into english the various concepts. >> it was a leap of faith for obama to believe in that, though. it must motte have been easy for him. >> it actually wasn't an issue at all. they understood at the beginning. david pluff knew if they ran a repeat of 2008 -- as they said, we will definitely lose. they had to run a cutting-edge campaign and use the latest in microtargeting and big data to win this thing. >> and jonathan, you talk about that in terms of actually identifying those target universes. we're going to put up on the screen some numbers you have in your book where you say basically they had a voter
support score for every single potential voter that they could reach. and they looked at voter contact. right around their 65% market. walk us through what we're seeing here. >> so so they had 180 million support scores. about 125 million people voted. they had support scores for americans far beyond those who voted. if you weren't in a battleground state, it wasn't a very sophisticated 1 to 100 model.if you were, the data that would go in to determine if you were 55, 65, 85% likely to vote for obama which is what those numbers mean, they had he dozens of variables. then if we could figure out that you were say a 65, 70, are% chance then they would go after you. figure out if you needed a ride to the polls. if you hadn't returned your application for an absentee ballot, if you hadn't registered. and they would figure out who you were to bring you out and then they had a series of other
models. they had propensity models that would measure how likely you were to be -- to turn out. persuasion models, how likely you were to switch sides from romney or independent. what this did was for these two million volunteers, it made them tremendously more if isht when they'd go door to door in a neighborhood. they won't have to go to every house on the block. they'd go to mrs. jones at one house and mr. smith and could ignore the rest. they could find blue voters in red neighborhoods with this technology. >> so one of the key moments in the campaign of course, is the first debate. what happened? >> i got a whole chapter on that. essentially, the president wanted to get physical with romney. he wanted to be aggressive. his advisors were telling him don't do that. >> don't be aggressive. >> bad advice they said later because they said in prep every time they gave him a scalpel, he
took out a hatchet, right? and they didn't trust that he was going to be able to perform. actually he was 0 for 6 against john kerry playing mitt romney in that mock debate. and he understood afterward, do you remember that viral video with samuel l. jackson, he goes in with the beret, wake the "f" up. so afterward -- >> you got a good samuel l. jackson impression. >> then obama says to patrick gesparda, he says i didn't realize samuel l. jackson was talking to to me. >> real quick, the relationship between bill clinton and barack obama. he believed till the last week that obama would lose and that hurricane sandy would save him. he will was surprised obama couldn't work a room. how does that relationship stand today and during the campaign? >> it's never been warm and fuzzy. it was very, very frosty in 2008 through 2010.
now they have, what you could call a correct decent relationship, and they, you know, obama eventually described him as secretary for explaining stuff. except he didn't use stuff. >> jonathan alter, we appreciate it. get your copy of is "the center holds." just ahead toure's take on kanye's new album. that would be music to our ears. not north west though. are baked with brown rice and sweet potato! triscuit has a new snack? no way. way. and the worst part is they're delicious. mmm, you're right. maybe we should give other new things a chance. no way. way. [ male announcer ] we've taken 100% whole grain brown rice and wheat, delicious sweet potato, and savory red bean... and woven them into something unexpected. the new brown rice triscuit line; with sweet potato and red bean varieties. a new take on an old favorite.
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same thing ♪ >> after a day full of big meatinous stories, it's time for dessert. kanye he dropped a new album called yezus. one of those av tarz of the era. if anybody is as he says popping a wheelie on the zeitgeist, it's him. he's grabbed ahold of gestalt and playing with it like a child with a toy. he represents the egotis tick cal far sis cystic hyper skunlist part of us. he's the father of kim kardashi kardashian's daughter and dissed by bush and obama. he's also an artist at a time when so many artists are business people, turning themselves into a brand that's sanitized enough for corporate sponsorship. his music is often abrasive and challenging and divisive. it grows from album to album indicative of a mind moving like
a tron bike. it stands so far outside of what hip-hop normally sounds like, you could say the man is alone in his own genre. who else would squeeze disaster punk production and beanieie man singing and a nina simone sample onto the same album. an the heart is ego. a legendary rapper told me rap songs are like confidence sandwiches. you put them in your mouth and by repeating what the rapper says, you grow more confident. he's making ego wine brilliantly constructed. if you put enough down your throat, you will get drunk. i with ept to his apartment after his first album came out and found a massive poster of him on the wall in his place. i said what's up with that? he said i have to cheer for myself before anyone else can cheer for me. it makes sense if you put it that way. the braggadocio of most rappers
comes from the inherent powerlessness of the black male lead to many of us constructing egos that protect against the daily onslaught of messages we are worthless. kanye always takes this emotional exchange to the nth degree but especially so on his solo album with the sound reminiscent of nine inch nails meeting tribal drums. we used to talk about fat beats. a lot of these are zof tig. he talks more about sex than politics. i love him for mentioning the cca, correctional corporation of america. the largest private prison in the u.s. it is nuts we allow people to profit from incarcerating other people and demand a 90%ers occupancy rate which forces them into fighting for more convictions and incentives them to recidivism. i'm loving yezus. look, it ain't for everyone. some are going to love it, some will hate it just like kanye
himself. his first three albums were about, these love me. since his mom died, he's not cared to hide how much of a tortured jerk he is. that has unleashed him to become one of the most important musicians alive. now it's time for another of my favorite musicians martin bashir. >> ego is an a shield or as a weapon in your case, toure. good afternoon. it's monday, june 24th. and he's a man on the run. ♪ >> we don't know where edward snowden is. >> how did this guy get away? we have inspector clouseau looking for him? >> clearly, the system did not work. >> it shouldn't be turned into a circus where we're chasing simpson. >> the story is shaping up as a cross between the bourn ultimatum and